A NORTH Ayrshire author launched her first book in Kilwinning Library last week.

Karen Haining, who grew up in Irvine, said memories of Marymass as a child helped sparked her novel, The Adventures of Hilary Hickenbottham, which was launched on Thursday, December 14.

The story tells of Hilary, an eight-year-old girl from a poor family in a remote part of Scotland.

Hilary has big dreams and her search for something more leads her to places she could never have imagined.

Karen told the Herald: “Two years ago I had an idea to write and produce a book. “I grew up in Irvine and absolutely love the beautiful Scottish country and surroundings, which many of us don’t appreciate.

“The story brings in a lot of childhood memories about my home town, Marymass being one of them.

Ayrshire I believe is a great place to live and people should know.

“A whole chapter in the book is dedicated to Marymass and my hope is that it will touch the hearts of many people who live outside Ayrshire. I’m hoping that the book will inspire people to come visit Ayrshire.

“There were also many unpleasant memories from my childhood but I have also became a devoted Christian attending the Bridge church, who in many ways have been an inspiration and encouragement to me and also who I am grateful for all their support, without whom my book would not have been possible.”